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ICT Task Force TWG

The Technical Working Group (TWG) of the newly-activated ICT Task Force met for the first time yesterday, 13 June 2007. During the first organizational meeting of the Task Force, it was decided that the TWG should meet once a week, in order to meet the 3-month deadline for creating the city?s I.T. industry development plan. The TWG now meets every Wednesday at 2:00 PM, at the office of the Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC).

There will, however, be no meetings for the next two weeks. This is because on 20 June there will be the Techno Kapehan at the same time as the TWG scheduled meeting; and in the following week, a number of the TWG members will be in Cebu for the CEBU ICT 2007 event.

The DCIPC head, Engr. Bobby Teo, is the chairman of the TWG. The permanent members are representatives of the ICT Task Force members. As the ICT Industry Cluster chair of the Regional Development Council
- Region 11, I'm also part of the TWG. The Cluster was able to create a road map for Davao’s I.T. industry back in 2005, this will be used by the TWG as a basis for its own output. We are also going to take a
look at other similar plans that have already been generated, such as the Fly High: Philippine Software 2010 program, the planning of which I was also a part. We are also going to take a look at past proposals
for developing Davao’s I.T. industry, such as the one submitted by Jason Banico. Banico put forth the concept of Davao as Silicon Gulf..

It is hopeful that the local government unit (LGU) is now paying closer attention to the I.T. industry, although it still doesn’t see the whole picture. The next few weeks will make it plain to see whether this initiative by Councilor Braga (she authored the ordinance that led to Executive Order #16, which in turn created the Task Force) will indeed serve its purpose, or fall by the wayside as yet another failed attempt to educate the LGU. The largely private-sector-led I.T. industry is now so far removed from government that it is difficult to
have both groups on the same plane.

One disheartening fact: I.T. investments are still not considered a priority area by the Davao City government. This means that, in the eyes of the DCIPC, I.T. investments per se will not get any special incentives from the LGU. Having I.T. included in the LGU’s priority investment areas has been lobbied by the private sector since time
immemorial. With the ICT Task Force in place, will this change soon? We have yet to see. We have yet to see whether or not the ICT Task Force, through its TWG will be an organization with teeth.


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